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The Most Successful ACC Coaches

Some guys just do the winning thing better

Pittsburgh v Duke
DURHAM, NORTH CAROLINA - JANUARY 28: Head coach Mike Krzyzewski of the Duke Blue Devils embraces head coach Jeff Capel III of the Pittsburgh Panthers before their game at Cameron Indoor Stadium on January 28, 2020 in Durham, North Carolina.
Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images

At the midpoint of the ACC regular season, two programs that ordinarily hang around the top of the standings, North Carolina and Miami, are near the bottom. Virginia, the preeminent regular-season power for the past half-decade, is uncommonly vulnerable, mired in the middle of the pack along with Clemson, Syracuse and Virginia Tech, which usually finish there.

Three perennial achievers – Duke, Florida State and Louisville – remain clustered at the top. The chronic laggards – Boston College, Georgia Tech and Wake Forest – lurk around the .500 mark.

UNC and UVa are going through what figures to be a short rough patch. Like a relay squad, Virginia Tech is trying to maintain stride while switching coaches. Clemson, rarely consistently superior, remains consistently competitive. Notre Dame and injury-riddled Miami figure to rebound later, if not sooner; they’re intermittent front-rank programs.

The Eagles, Yellow Jackets and Demon Deacons have been also-rans for most of the past decade; only the verdict on the regime of Georgia Tech’s Josh Pastner hints at better results to come.

While the ACC is not up to par, with about half of its teams around the .500 mark overall, prospects are that such weakness won’t last. Fully a third of its programs are directed by coaches with the most wins ever at their respective schools.

To some extent, coaches’ career won-lost records and stature in their schools’ annals portend prowess, if not in ’20 than in the immediate future. Winners catch the knack of winning, as losers do the converse.

Four schools – Louisville, Miami, Pitt and Virginia Tech – have career leaders whose tenures entirely preceded their programs joining the ACC in the 21st century. Everett Case and Murray Greason, leaders at NC State and Wake, respectively, spanned Southern Conference and ACC membership at those schools.

Duke’s Krzyzewski has more wins than any coach in major college history. His closest pursuer, Syracuse’ Jim Boeheim, had 101 wins “vacated” from five different seasons due to NCAA edicts for improper conduct under association rules. And at Georgia Tech Pastner had 22 wins stripped as part of an NCAA punishment handed down in 2019.

Most Total Wins At ACC Schools, Through Games of Jan. 29, 2020
(Asterisk Indicates Leader Is Active, Top Winner Prior To Joining ACC In Italics)
School Most Wins Coach (Yrs in ACC) Tenure Current Coach (ACC W/L)
Boston College 247 Al Skinner (5) 1998-2010 Jim Christian (72-111)
Clemson* 179 Brad Brownell 2011- Brownell (179-136)
Duke* 1075 Mike Krzyzewski 1981- Krzyzewski (1075-288)
Florida State* 351 Leonard Hamilton 2003- Hamilton (351-218)
Georgia Tech 354 Bobby Cremins 1982-2000 Josh Pastner (35-64)
Louisville 416 Rick Pitino (3) 2001-17 Chris Mack (38-17)
675 Denny Crum (1971-2001)
Miami 185 Jim Larranaga 2012- Larranaga (185-106)
220 Bruce Hale 1955-67
North Carolina 879 Dean Smith 1962-97 Roy Williams (463-143)
NC State 377 Everett Case (11) 1946-64 Kevin Keatts (59-31)
Notre Dame* 428 Mike Brey (7) 2001- Brey (429-229)
Pittsburgh 328 Jamie Dixon (3) 2014-16 Jeff Capel (27-26)
367 H.C. Carlson 1922-53
Syracuse 959 Jim Boeheim (7) 1977- Boeheim (959-392)
Virginia 326 Terry Holland 1975-90 Tony Bennett (267-95)
Virginia Tech 170 Seth Greenberg 2004-12 (8) Mike Young (14-6)
213 Charlie Moir 1977-87
Wake Forest 288 M. Greason (4) 1934-57 Danny Manning (74-104)